Sunny evening, 6 June 2018

Saturday, 10 October 2009

70 years ago - this Tuesday

On 13 October 1939, the Royal Navy's HMS Royal Oak, at anchor in Scapa Flow, Orkney, was struck by four torpedoes from German submarine U-47. The first torpedo did no major damage when it struck just before 1 am. The last three torpedoes, fired at 1.16 am, proved fatal. Within 13 minutes, Royal Oak turned turtle and went to the bottom, taking 833 crew with her. She currently still lies in 100 feet of water, upside down, reaching 5 metres / 17 feet below the surface of the water. The site is marked by a green wreck buoy and has been marked as a wargrave.

Tomorrow, the 70th anniversary of this tragedy will be remembered in Orkney's main town, Kirkwall. Last year, I visited Orkney and called in at the Royal Oak memorial ashore at Scapa, near the local Coastguard Station. I'll share some of the pictures I took at the time, dedicating this entry to the memory of all those lost there in 1939.

The wreckbuoy

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